Astrophysics, News

Two supermassive black holes set for a collision that will shake the cosmos itself

Image via Columbia University.

That’s what I call fatal attraction: two supermassive black holes are “dancing”, drawn together by each other’s humongous gravitational attraction, set for a collision that will likely send ripples through the very fabric of space-time.

Astrophysics, News

Biggest Planets Started out as Tiny Pebbles

Image via Planetary Hunters.

Gas giants like Saturn or Jupiter may have formed not from a planetary core, but rather from tiny pebbles that stuck together. This theory would solve one of the biggest problems about our understanding of planetary formation: the timeline. The previous model was called core accretion: you have a planetary core of rock and ice that starts to attract and keep

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

NASA’s exciting announcement: They’ve discovered an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone

The sweep of NASA Kepler mission’s search for small, habitable planets in the last six years. The first planet smaller than Earth, Kepler-20e, was discovered in December 2011 orbiting a Sun-like star slightly cooler and smaller than our sun every six days. But it is scorching hot and unable to maintain an atmosphere or a liquid water ocean. Kepler-22b was announced in the same month, as the first planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star, but is more than twice the size of Earth and therefore unlikely to have a solid surface. Kepler-186f was discovered in April 2014 and is the first Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone of a small, cool M dwarf about half the size and mass of our sun. Kepler-452b is the first near-Earth-Size planet in the habitable zone of a star very similar to the sun.
Credits: NASA Ames/W. Stenzel

Planet Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world to be found in the habitable zone of star that is similar to our Sun. This extremely exciting announcement was made by NASA today; while this doesn’t mean that the planet is inhabited, it does mean that it has many of the characteristics that our own Earth-Sun system have, and the odds of it hosting life seem significant.

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Astronomers discover massive ultra-dark galaxies – might be filled with dark matter


Astronomers have discovered a whopping 854 new ultra-dark galaxies which might have large quantities of the elusive dark matter, which makes out most of our universe.

Astrophysics, News, Space

There’s a good chance Mars has liquid water

Image credits University of Copenhagen.

Researchers have long known that Mars has water in the form of ice, but now, after years and years of research, we might finally have the decisive clue that our planetary neighbor has liquid water on its surface. The key find was perchlorate – a substance that significantly lowers the freezing point, so that water doesn’t freeze into ice, but remains liquid and briny.

Astrophysics, News, Space

NASA wants to take a piece of an asteroid and make it a moon of the Moon

NASA is making plans to retrieve a chunk of an asteroid and make it orbit the Moon. Image via NASA.

It almost sounds too cheesy to be true: NASA wants to send a shuttle to an asteroid, pluck a piece of it, then make it return to the Moon and orbit it. Then, brave astronauts will go and retrieve the sample, bringing it back to Earth for study. But that’s exactly what astronomers and engineers at the space agency want to do.

Astronomy, Astrophysics, News

Scientists find the sound of stars

Solar flare. Image via Wikipedia.

A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. While he was examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, John Parsley from the University of York found that interfering plasma generates a series of pressure pulses – in other words, sounds.

Astrophysics, News, Space

Young Jupiter Swept Through the Solar System, Destroying Super Earths


A new shocking theory suggests that Jupiter may have sweeped through our solar system much like a wrecking ball, knocking planets out of the solar system our moving them outwards, to the position we see them in today. If this is true, then it might explain why our solar system is a rarity and why life emerged the way it did.

Astrophysics, News, Observations

Minuscule Centaur planet in our Solar System might have rings like Saturn

chiron minor planet

They’re considered a hybrid between asteroids and comets, but still, they’re called minor planets; they also bear the name of the fabled man-horse creatures in Greek mythology – centaurs. Now, scientists have found that a Centaur in our solar system, Chiron, might have rings just like those of Saturn.